OSHKOSH 2009: WhiteKnight Two rudder change confirmed

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Scaled Composites has cut a notch into the bottom of the WhiteKnight Two prototype's rudders and added operating cables.

At this year's EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, the company's boss Burt Rutan said that WK2's rudder had been "unstable" due to landing gear wakes, so a weight had been added to the bottom of the rudder.

The new notch modification was spotted in exclusive WK2 photos taken as it took off from Mojave air and spaceport at the start of its journey to Oshkosh.

virgin galactic
©Flight/Alan Radecki

 Above: Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnight Two takes off from Mojave air and spaceport at about 07:37 local time on Monday 27 July 2009

this image is a close up shot of the tail fin and rudder of virgin galactic
©Flight/Alan Radecki

 Above: The new notches added to the bottom of the rudders of Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnight Two are clearly visible, viewed as it takes off from Mojave air and spaceport on Monday 27 July 2009
Read more about the technical changes to WhiteKnight Two at Rob Coppinger's blog Hyperbola